27 March 2009

Waiting for a miracle

Most of my dear readers know that our city, Moorhead, Minnesota, is waging an enormous flood fight. It's difficult to blog about as it happens, because there is so much uncertainty, and any minute I'm not trying to directly make things better I feel guilty. But Shaun is working today, so I'm home with V with no vehicle, so here we sit, and here I blog.
On Saturday & Monday I was at Sarah & Robby's, friends of ours who have a beautiful home. On Rivershore Drive. Their house takes water at 36 feet, and our crest (which is still rising) is predicted between 41-43 feet. This photo is from their back deck, which normally stretches 100 yards or more to the river (I think. I'm not great with distance, but it's a ways). The river is at about 34 feet in this picture. That little black dot in the center of the photo is their tire swing. Man, I hate it when my tire swing is 9 feet underwater.

A few days ago, Fargo's mayor suggested we should all be prepared for evacuation. Better to be prepared than not. So I gathered a few things: it's daunting, though, thinking about leaving. In all likelihood, our basement would fill with water, but little on our main floor would be affected (at least that's what I'm telling myself). It's more of a matter of what we absolutely need to live a week or two away from home. I packed all our medications, our IDs, V's social security card/birth certificate/baby book, our wedding/honeymoon/reception photos. Then I packed 3 pairs of underwear for each of us. And then I stopped. Because really, as I'm watching people staggering under the exhaustion of sandbagging and worry, I figured we could wear the same clothes for a few days until the crest passed and we could come back home. Despite the fact that I'm a packrat, material possessions do not define me, and though we don't have flood insurance, we would manage. There is so little in our lives that is irreplaceable.

But now it's a few days later, and I find myself packing a second suitcase. Clothes, pajamas, socks for all three of us. A couple of the collage projects I've completed. V's harmonica. Then I remembered that tucked away in a corner of the basement, I had a few things I might miss, after all.

On the left, a pile of quilt blocks I forgot I even owned. I'm not at all sure how to put them together, but I'm not leaving them to be eaten by the river, either. In the center is a completed quilt top, the only one I have that's not quilted, and the hardest pattern I've ever done (which is funny, since I've only done about 3 patterns in my life). On the right is our reception guest book, which I made in the form of quilt blocks, and which all our friends and family signed. It makes my stomach hurt, now, to think I might have left those behind. I would've been really, really upset. I'm upset at myself for not remembering them in the first place.

Now, though, they're tucked safely away in a suitcase by our door, awaiting further orders. Hopefully the river will crest lower than predicted. Hopefully all the sandbags and clay will hold the water. Hopefully life will be back to normal soon. Because I have some quilts I need to finish up.


The Arffs said...

Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and everyone else in the Fargo/Moorhead area battling the rising river. I hope the dikes will hold. Good luck and take care.

Tenessa said...

I love you so much, honey. I'd come and hold back the river with my arms if I could.

Emily, Scott, and August said...

I recognized that center top the moment I laid eyes on it. I am not surprised it is not yet complete, considering the trauma that was experienced to get it to this point. Sometimes they need to rest for a few years.